The United States and Finland: Old Friends, A New and Stronger Alliance

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Pekka Haavisto

JUNE 1, 2023

The United States and Finland enjoy an enduring partnership, rooted in our shared values of democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and a shared commitment to strengthening the international rules-based order. Finland’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) membership represents a major change to the European security landscape and strengthens regional and transatlantic security. We are collaborating on virtually every pressing challenge of our time, including promoting democracy, advancing human rights, addressing the climate crisis, and ensuring regional and global security to create a more prosperous future for our citizens. We also work together on shared priorities in the Arctic.

The United States values our strong cultural and educational partnerships with Finland, such as the esteemed Fulbright program. The binational Fulbright program, which celebrates its 75th anniversary in Finland next year, is a key framework of U.S.-Finnish cooperation and the U.S. government’s oldest flagship international educational exchange. We recognize Fulbright Finland’s pioneering work in promoting cybersecurity, media literacy, and combating disinformation, as well as the focus on Arctic and climate research.

The United States and Finland: A Stronger Security Alliance

  • Finland joining NATO is good for Finland, NATO, and our collective security. Finland brings substantial and highly capable forces, expertise in national resilience, and years of experience working with NATO Allies. As Allies, we will continue to preserve Transatlantic security, defend every inch of NATO territory, and meet any and all security challenges we face.
  • NATO has helped maintain peace and stability in Europe for over 70 years. It has also played a critical role in promoting stability and strengthening security around the world. Finland’s membership in the Alliance will advance these shared goals.
  • Finland shares NATO’s values of democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of law and has strong democratic institutions. Finland’s comprehensive security model is a global best practice in building societal resilience against hybrid warfare, and NATO will benefit from Finland’s expertise in this area.
  • The United States welcome strengthening the bilateral security relationship through the ongoing Defense Cooperation Agreement negotiations, which are complementary to Finland’s NATO membership.
  • Finland hosts the European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, which is instrumental in bringing NATO Allies and European Union partners together to strengthen national resilience and enhance collective defense against hybrid threats.
  • The United States and Finland stand together in unwavering support of Ukraine and strong condemnation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Finland has provided over $1 billion in security assistance, humanitarian aid, and development cooperation to Ukraine.

The United States and Finland: Partners in Energy

  • The United States welcomed the news that Finland brought online Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) nuclear reactor, Europe’s largest, in April. The United States promotes nuclear energy, both large modern reactors and small modular reactors (SMRs), as a critical component in decarbonizing electricity generation and industrial processes.
  • The United States appreciates Finland’s increasing leadership on critical minerals and clean energy supply chains, including through the Minerals Security Partnership, which aims to catalyze investments from governments and the private sector in strategic projects across the full value chain that adhere to the highest environmental, social, and governance standards.

The United States and Finland: Allies in the High North

  • As one of eight Arctic nations, the United States has long been committed to protecting our national security and economic interests in the region, combating climate change, fostering sustainable development and investment, and promoting cooperation with Arctic States, Allies, and partners. The creation of new senior positions to advocate for our interests, including the first-ever U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Arctic Affairs, underscores U.S. commitment to this vital and changing region – the importance of which will only grow in the coming decades.
  • Finland is a leader on security in the High North, and we look forward to continued close coordination on keeping the region peaceful, stable, prosperous, and cooperative. As stated in our National Strategy for the Arctic Region, we seek closer cooperation with Allies and partners who uphold the rules-based international order and existing governance structures in the High North.
  • We look forward to working with Norway to further its priorities as the Chair, and with our likeminded Allies to determine the appropriate approach for continuing the important work of the Arctic Council.

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